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Respiratory Retraining May Help Lung Disease Patients

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients exercised longer after respiratory and exercise training

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- A program of exercise training plus ventilation-feedback (VF) training to modify the respiratory pattern resulted in improved exercise tolerance in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to research published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Eileen G. Collins, Ph.D., of the Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital in Hines, Ill., and colleagues investigated whether computerized ventilation-feedback (VF) training could improve duration of exercise and reduce exercise-induced dynamic hyperinflation in individuals with COPD by randomizing 64 patients to one of three interventions: exercise training plus ventilation-feedback (VF) respiratory training, exercise alone, or VF alone.

After 36 training sessions, mean duration of constant work-rate exercise was 40 minutes in the VF plus exercise group, 31.5 minutes in the exercise-only group and 16.1 minutes in the VF-only group. The improvement in exercise time of the VF plus exercise group compared to the exercise-only group failed to reach a predetermined level of statistical significance, the researchers report. Exercise-induced dynamic hyperinflation was significantly reduced in the combination group compared to the other two groups.

"The potential improvement in exercise duration by combining exercise training and VF training identified in this study clearly merits further investigation in future, large, prospective trials," the authors conclude.

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